11 Tips To Encourage Positive Attitude In eLearning

How To Encourage Positive Attitude In eLearning: 11 Tips For eLearning Professionals

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't; you're right” Henry Ford once said to describe the importance of attitude towards achieving results, and the world ought to listen; the great American inventor certainly knew a few things about success.

Your learners’ positive attitude towards eLearning is essential; without it, they have little chance of getting satisfactory results. Positive attitude helps them focus and absorb information quicker and more effectively than any other technique, not only because it creates the right environment for enjoying the eLearning experience, but also because it increases motivation and achievement levels by making learners more productive, helping them to retain and recall more information. This happens due to the fact that the learner’s mind ties the subject matter to a favorable eLearning experience, committing it easier to their long-term memory.

In addition, instead of solely focusing on their mental processes, an eLearning course that encourages positive attitude has also the power to appeal to learners' emotions in order to create a memorable and motivational eLearning experience. In this article, I'll share 11 tips to encourage positive attitude in eLearning, so that you can make sure that you set the right tone for an eLearning course that greatly increases the hope, engagement, and motivation levels of your eLearning audience.

  1. Empower your learners.
    The key to a positive attitude is empowerment. Some eLearning courses are so centered on information delivery that they forget to consider the human element. Make your learners the center of your eLearning course. By following a learner-centered approach you can address to different types of strengths and weaknesses of your learners. If your learners feel as though they are in control of the eLearning experience, then they are more likely to actively participate and feel good about the eLearning course, as a whole. It's always a good idea to praise their strengths in order to encourage positive attitude in your eLearning course. By viewing the eLearning content through your audience’s eyes you will be able to help them demonstrate their talents and find what interests them. Building your eLearning strategy around topics your learners are interested in is essential, as people typically put more effort into areas they enjoy. This will also boost their levels of confidence in their abilities, as they will not only feel that they have the inner resources to successfully complete eLearning assignments and tasks, but also they will be convinced that when they work hard, they are more likely to succeed. By giving your learners the confidence and motivation they need to succeed, you drastically increase their positivity. Let them choose which module or eLearning activities to complete next. Give them a deadline and then allow them to decide how and when they will submit their online assignments. Empower them so that they know they are in charge of their own eLearning experience.
  2. Let learners know about the real value of your eLearning course.
    People are most motivated when they believe that the eLearning activities they are involved in are useful to them. Your learners aren’t going to have a positive attitude if they can’t see the value of taking the eLearning course in the first place. As we all learn better through practical application of knowledge, there is no way for your learners to develop a positive attitude towards the eLearning course if they feel that they cannot put their acquired knowledge to use. This is why it is crucial for your audience to understand that what they are learning will add value to their lives. Give your learners a valid reason to learn. They are going to retain more knowledge and become more engaged if they can see that the information is relevant and if you offer them a valid reason why they need each particular piece of information you present. You can do this by linking the subject matter to real world situations or challenges, though the use of eLearning scenarios that offer real world benefits, as well as eLearning games and simulations that allow learners to apply their knowledge in order to see outcomes. This way, you will increase their levels of interest and significantly boost their positive attitude towards their overall eLearning experience. Make clear to them from the very beginning why they should take the eLearning course and how it is going to improve their lives outside of the virtual learning environment.
  3. Set clear goals and objectives.
    Typically, it is rather difficult to develop a positive attitude towards something we don’t completely understand. Unclear learning goals and eLearning objectives can lead to confusion that increases anxiety levels; this is why it's always critical to explain the goals and objectives of the eLearning course accurately, as well as to offer detailed instructions for completing eLearning tasks and assignments. Strong guidelines and clear goals will ensure that your learners’ efforts are not being sabotaged by uncertainty, and that all their energy is focused on mastering the information presented, rather on trying to figure out what exactly is expected of them.
  4. Eliminate negative thinking, stress, and fear.
    Fear of making mistakes is positivity’s worst enemy. It is your role as eLearning professional to create a safe environment for your learners to experiment and explore a variety of learning paths without fearing that they might fail; or, more accurately, without feeling that their “failures” will inhibit their learning process. You can achieve this by using the following approaches: First, encourage mistake-driven learning by showing your audience that errors are amazing opportunities for growth, rather than obstacles that stand in their way of learning. Second, encourage them to ask questions, by making it central to your eLearning strategy. Encourage your learners to ask for clarifications whenever they need them and make them feel that there are no insignificant or silly questions. Furthermore, move the essence of inquiry to online discussions by organizing debates around key questions, and, finally, create thought-provoking eLearning scenario questions that allow you learners to find new answers to complex problems. This way, you will give your audience the opportunity to explore new leaning horizons and develop a positive attitude in a risk-free environment.
  5. Challenge your learners without overwhelming them.
    As eLearning professionals, it can sometimes be difficult to know the difference between a challenging task and one that is going to frustrate or overwhelm learners. When frustration is thrown into the mix, it is almost impossible to encourage a positive attitude as learners will automatically associate the eLearning experience with this emotion. However, you can offer them just the right level of challenge by doing some audience research beforehand; then, you can break down your lessons into bite-sized modules to reduce learners’ cognitive overload.
  6. Foster intrinsic motivation.
    Intrinsic motivation is not influenced by outside factors. It is based upon the idea that learners are actively participating in the eLearning course because they genuinely want to learn, rather than doing it in order to receive a reward or avoid negative consequences. Give your learners opportunities to tap into their intrinsic motivation by including eLearning activities that encourage exploration, such as simulations or branching scenarios. Get them curious about a topic or allow them to collaborate with their peers to boost their self-confidence.
  7. Offer positive, constructive feedback.
    When a student successfully completes an online task or receives high marks on an exam, praise them. When they don’t participate to the best of their ability or exhibit an incorrect learning behavior, offer them constructive feedback. It’s important to give positive feedback to your learners in order to reinforce desired behaviors and modify those that may need fine tuning. You can also use extrinsic rewards, such as leaderboards or points, to motivate your learners. However, make sure that you stress the fact that the main goal of the eLearning experience is personal growth and acquiring new knowledge.
  8. Offer a variety of learning options and resources.
    Positive attitude is closely linked with self confidence; when your learners feel confident that they can successfully complete their eLearning course, they feel more positive towards it. However, you need to be careful; building confidence doesn’t mean providing your audience with ridiculously easy tasks and assignments. On the contrary, optimism is boosted by overcoming interesting challenges. To encourage positive attitude in your eLearning course, consider increasing your learners’ confidence by offering them control over their learning. Provide them with a variety of tools and resources, such as additional links, guides, and multimedia, and let them choose how to use them in order to achieve their learning goals. Offering multiple methods to complete eLearning assignments will give your audience the opportunity to expand their interests, develop their problem solving skills, and feel confident in their abilities and learning efforts.
  9. Pique their interest.
    If you grab your learners’ attention right from the start and pique their interest with compelling images, stories, and interactive elements, your learners are more likely to express a positive attitude towards your eLearning course. It’s all about generating interest and excitement. eLearning content that prompts them to think about the subject matter and relates it to their own lives will be of interest to them, while extraneous or boring eLearning content will make them disengage. Create online stories that connect with them on an emotional level and make them aware of how they can apply this knowledge in the real world. Include videos and audio narrations that generate excitement and engagement while immersing your learners into the subject matter.
  10. Address your learners’ emotions.
    Nothing can connect your audience with your eLearning content more effectively than emotions. Emotionally-driven eLearning generates positive attitudes such as engagement, interest, and enthusiasm. The more positive the emotions of your learners are during their eLearning experience, the more motivated your learners will be. Create compelling scenarios that address your audience’s feelings by inviting them to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. Also consider adding small doses of humor to your eLearning course, as anything that makes people smile, even for a second, can automatically draw attention, increase interest, and create positive feelings. Just keep in mind to use your funny elements wisely, as not all people have the same sense of humor, and this may provoke misunderstandings.
  11. Set the example.
    Every aspect of your eLearning course design must be inspirational and positive if you truly want to encourage a positive attitude in your audience. You have to provide them with examples of positive behaviors, and create an eLearning community that is based upon this positivity. Make them feel that they are part of the group by asking them to participate in online discussions and to share their personal experiences and skills with their peers. Above all, exude a positive attitude every time you post something on the eLearning platform, social media networks, or communicating with your learners one-on-one. If they can see that you walk the walk, then they are going to follow your example.

These tips can help you design eLearning courses that encourage positive attitude and boost knowledge retention for your online learners. As an eLearning professional you have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of your learners. Why not take full advantage of that opportunity by building their self-confidence, empowering them, and offering them an inspirational eLearning experience?

Now that you know how to encourage positive attitude in your eLearning course, you may be interested in challenging yourself and learn how you can engage a difficult audience: passive learners. Read the article 6 Tips To Engage Passive Learners In eLearning and find out how you can successfully engage these individuals who acquire the information, but they aren't eager to apply it in the world outside the virtual classroom.

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